Jesse Ragan — XYZ Type
Jesse Ragan designs a broad range of typefaces for XYZ Type, which he and Ben Kiel launched in 2017. Beyond making …
The fact that I was bad at programming.
So after designing and coding a few websites with my best friend in elementary school, I realized that designing was the easy part and left the coding to him. But then I made a switch and attended a hotel management school, had an internship as a chef in Glasgow and worked in a few restaurants in my hometown.
I then applied for a BA Graphic Design programme (because I realized that a computer screen is more pleasant than a pot) at Prague City University, got accepted and have been designing ever since.
I get up around seven in the morning and have breakfast right away, no matter what day of the week it is. I prefer slow mornings, so I really enjoy the time before leaving the flat. Then I take the bus and the subway and get to the office around 9 am. I spend my commute time learning Swedish on Duolingo or scrolling through Twitter. Or watching other commuters' shoes. It's actually interesting to see the pattern in the brands and styles of shoes people wear.
The first thing I do in the studio is deal with emails. Once I get them done, I can finally move on to the creative part of the day, which is mixed in with dealing with more emails, phone calls, lunch breaks, toilet breaks, ping pong and beer breaks (I love them!).
When I get home, I make dinner, put something on TV (recently I discovered Task Master on YouTube and you should too) or play a game (BeatSaber is awesome), and I always read a (non-design) book an hour before falling asleep.
Macbook Pro 15', AOC 4K display, some ergonomic mouse from Amazon and an Apple keyboard. Staedtler pigment liner 0.3 for sketching, colour pens for reviews.
Last weekend Martin and I went to Berlin to see the newly renovated Neue Nationalgalerie, which is housed in a building designed by Mies van der Rohe. Unfortunately, we hadn't noticed beforehand that tickets had to be bought in advance due to current restrictions and we didn't get in.
So we decided to visit the Museum of Decorative Arts, located just down the street. There was a floor with chair designs and there I found this amazing chair made from a shopping cart. And it is fascinating although not so functional.
I am always most proud of the most recent projects I design because they reflect my evolving skills, opinions and position as a designer. Right now, when I answer questions, it's two unpublished fonts: Azeret and Bagoss.
The biggest design challenge we face is making our fonts work seamlessly in Microsoft Office and Google Docs. It often seems like an unreachable goal (and it is in GDocs). But also functionality in general. Designers working in Figma have different preferences and expectations than designers working in InDesign.
Design is not art. You design for people, remember that.
I also don't believe in design luck. So if you want to get a job at your favourite studio, land your dream client, or attend a school you like, you just have to work hard. If you are passionate enough about what you do, it's easy and you will always achieve your goals.
Our Displaay type-foundry, of course! Buy our typefaces, they are awesome:
We listen to NTS almost everyday at work, it's awesome:
We also have friends who make ceramics. A cool one: